Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One of life’s simple pleasures is relaxing in a garden filled with beautiful plants. The ‘outdoor room’ is often the best room in the house, a retreat from the hassles of the working day. But what if you or someone in your home is an asthmatic or suffers from plant allergies? It might seem an insurmountable problem, but there is a solution. Rid your garden of the troublemakers and choose plants that are safe for asthmatics and allergy sufferers. You may lose some plants you love, but you will gain peace of mind.

The first step to a safe garden is to identify those trees, bushes, and flowers in your garden which cause a reaction. The chief culprits are plants which produce airborne pollens. Among the flowers look out for amaranth, sunflowers, alyssum and chrysanthemums, while climbing vines like jasmine, lilac and wisteria are other hazards. It is these pollens which invade human airways and cause hay fever. There are many non-allergenic flowers to replace them, These are self-pollinating plants which have male and female components that fertilize themselves – no pollen needed. Bulbs like hyacinth, daffodil and snowdrop are excellent allergy-free choices and are always welcome in the garden, Other garden favorites such as carnations, geraniums and pansies are also wise choices for beds and borders. Herb lovers should avoid chamomile and wormwood but can grow thyme, lavender, rosemary and other aromatic herbs as much as they like.

A rose garden is a constant delight but asthmatics and allergy sufferers have to make good rose choices to be able to enjoy the. Some roses can cause a reaction if they have an abundance of pollen or are highly scented. But there are many varieties that will cause no trouble. A favorite in allergy free gardens is the glorious double pink Cecil Brunner, but most roses register from 1-2 on the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS) where a low number is an assurance that a plant will not cause allergies.

Trees are more complex, as only the male trees, which send out pollen to fertilize their female counterparts, cause allergic reactions. You may be able to keep some pollen producing trees if you can identify which are male and which are female and remove only the male trees, pollen will still be a hazard from other trees in the neighborhood. If you are planning a new garden, or want to remove trees which cause problems, avoid trees which need a male and female to pollinate, like olive, oak or elm. Check with your local nursery to make the right choices. Fruit trees like apple, plum and cherry are good choices, providing spring blossoms and fruit, while citrus trees are pollinated by insects so are safe to grow.

Keeping your garden free of weeds can also be beneficial to asthma and allergy sufferers. Weeds are notorious for causing allergies. There is even a weed called the asthma weed, a Mediterranean plant that flourishes in sunny climates. Weeds need to be completely eradicated, for they will just grow back if any root remains. Any plant that sends out seeds on the wind to pollinate is a likely cause of allergies, so check common areas around your home as well. Some grasses cause allergies, such as rye, so it is best to choose buffalo grass or another ground cover for lawns.

Mold in the garden is another problem for asthmatics. You will normally eradicate mold inside your house, but the garden is often overlooked. In 2010, a research team at the University of Leicester in the UK found that sputum from asthma patients contained common garden mold. The most likely sources were compost and soil. So in an asthma-safe garden, avoid open compost bins and heaps.

Check for other places where mold and fungus can grow, such as wood piles and rotting logs. Areas that are normally damp and shady should be opened up and allowed to dry out. An allergy and asthma-safe garden also allows sufferers to be able to work in their gardens as well as relax. Potting mix, compost and other garden soil can create allergic reactions, so sufferers should wear a mask to keep mold spores from entering their airways. Wear a mask if you grow mushrooms or, if someone else in the family has an allergy, keep your mushroom farms under cover in a basement or garage. For seriously affected asthmatics, it may be safer to remove them altogether and get your mushrooms from the supermarket.

Outdoor furniture can be another mold hazard, so check your installations, tarps and sheds, Air them thoroughly after winter and wash down any item that has mildew on it. Make a homemade solution of half a cup of powdered borax to one cup of hot water and one cup of cold and put it in a spray bottle. This will remove the mildew and the cushions, chairs and other items can be left out to dry on a sunny day.

With these simple precautions and careful planting, you can make your garden a haven that everyone can enjoy.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of



Oh, we are all about…




Beekeeping And The Benefits of Honey

For many cultures over the centuries, honey has been a premium natural sweetener with amazing uses. With its natural properties and unique taste, it’s no wonder its benefits are unimaginable and impressive. Honey is a very beneficial food for our health & body – like immune system, skin, hair and even nails. Let’s take a look at some undeniable benefits of honey

Skin

Thanks to raw honey with its antibacterial and antioxidants properties, it can treat your body of skin problems and irritations such as:

  • Burns and Wounds: Where you experience burns (including sunburns), honey can be applied to the affected area to soothe and relieve the sting. With its antibacterial properties, honey heals wounds and burns effectively.
  • Acne and Spots: Honey acts as a cleansing agent with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties by absorbing the impurities from the skin causing acne and thereby treating the skin from acne and spots.
  • Aging& Wrinkles: Honey helps treat wrinkles and ageing on the skin. As a natural humectant, it moisturizes the top layer of the skin leaving the skin moisturized and refreshed which reduces wrinkles and slows down ageing. You can treat your body with a honey bath or mask.
Hair

For a healthy hair, honey has been categorized as the all-natural moisturizing product that can be used to treat dry hair. Combined with natural oils like coconut oil or olive oil to create a mixture for hair conditioning; it helps straighten the hair, remove dandruff and enrich the hair cuticles to prevent hair loss or thinning.

Health

To avoid and control the risk of diabetes or heart problem, consider adding honey to your diet. Honey as an antioxidant helps protect the heart as studies have shown that polyphenols in honey can reduce the risk of a cardiac arrest. Also, honey while consumed as a replacement for sugar helps reduce diabetes risk.

Excited about the benefits of honey, right? Well, there’s more to it as you can gain more than honey from beekeeping.

Beekeeping is the concept of “bee-farming” for profit in terms of honey, wax and great pollination – if you’re a fruit farmer or grower of berries, almonds or nuts; honey bees can help keep your plants healthy, as it is reported that 30% of the world’s most common food crops require honeybees.

A Quick Outline to Beekeeping

Learn about Beekeeping

Beekeeping is a different ball game to animal farming. Quite relaxing as it doesn’t require you changing water and food trays, cleaning the keep and faeces because bees do all their work themselves like the saying “Busy as a Bee”. However, beekeeping can be a tasking and patient work because it needs strategic management.

Where you’ve decided to start beekeeping, it’s best to learn and familiarize yourself with beekeeping, knowing the right set of beehives and supplies through guide books, research and joining a beekeeping community or association around you.

Order your Bees and Supplies

This is you being serious about being a beekeeper and you’ve armed yourself with enough knowledge but practice they say makes perfect. Choose the type of beehive you’ll like if you plan to set up a beekeeping in your backyard which will serve as a man-made hive for your bees. Langstroth(standard beehive for years) and top-bar hives are the most common types of beehives which are good to maintain the bee colony and for easy collection of honey.

Supplies of beekeeping consist of a hive, smoker, proper clothing (including hood&gloves), extracting equipment, hive tool and gears which shouldn’t cost much and a package of bees. Interestingly, bees can be ordered and delivered by mail, that’s right! You can also choose to get your bees from another beekeeper who can put you through.You can either order a “package bee and a queen” which is a set of bees that’s ordered with a grown queen or a “nuc colony” which is a more established set of bees with a queen that’s started laying brood.

Start Beekeeping

The European Honeybee “Apis Mellifera” is the common species kept in America with North America having 4,000 species; so beekeeping requires management which is influenced by the bee type, climate and beehive. The best time to start beekeeping is in the Spring because it’s the swarm season when bees get busy and you want to get your bees ready. Ensure to provide your bees accessibility to flowers, water and a good sunny view for them to survive. Also, build a high fence for easy and raised flight for the bees and to protect your neighbours. Always ensure your bees are doing fine, with periodic checks.

Harvesting Honey

I bet you didn’t know that 22, 700 bees are required to fill a jar of honey and the queen bee produces between 100,000 to 200,000 bees over the year, Impressive, right? A colony of bees can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year so it takes patience, constant learning and management to a successful beekeeping. As a new beginner, it will take the following year before you can start gaining profits in terms of honey.

To harvest honey, you need to:

  • Wear protective clothing, avoid perfumes or cologne which can attract bees around you.
  • Carry the smoker to keep the bees calm but use sparingly so as not to affect the flavour of the honey.
  • Remove the supers from the beehive and gently brush off attached bees
  • Remove honey from the comb with extractor (centrifuge or spinner) by uncapping the wax from the combs and strain honey with a strainer to avoid excess wax
  • Keep honey in a bucket to settle for 2-3 days allowing foreign object rise to the top for easy removal.
  • Skim off the foam on top of the honey and keep in jars.

Voila, you’ve successfully kept bees and harvested honey!


Picked For You